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Special Report With Bret Baier

News/Business. Bret Baier. The latest news from inside the Beltway. New.

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U.s. 9, Us 5, Washington 4, Boniva 3, Fox News 3, Geico 3, Michael 3, Bret 2, Garrett 2, The White House 2, Obama Administration 2, Shannon Bream 2, Steve Harrigan 2, Bill Burton 2, Michael Steele 2, Jennifer Griffin 2, The F.b.i. 2, Martha 's Vinyard 2, Dick Cheney 2, New York 2,
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  FOX News    Special Report With Bret Baier    News/Business. Bret Baier. The  
   latest news from inside the Beltway. New.  

    August 24, 2009
    6:00 - 6:43pm EDT  

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question with boldness. hold to the truth. an speak without fear. i'm going to put a complete list of all of these questions that i have just asked tonight, and there's a lot more all week long. you can find it at glennbeck.com. tomorrow, we'll introduce you to the storm-killing capitalism. from new york. [captioning made possible by fox news channel] captioned by the national captioning institute ---www.ncicap.org--- bret: next on "special report," the f.b.i. starts a probe of c.i.a. interrogators who questioned terrorist suspects and the report on dick cheney's report on the effectiveness of those interrogations and the announcement of a new elite unit. the president's science advisors say the outlook for the h1n1 flu season is not good, and republicans go after seniors upset of over medicare and frustrated by healthcare reform. all that, plus the fox all-stars, right here, right now.
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i'm bret baier. despite the stated wishes of the president to look forward, attorney general eric holder has decided to begin a new probe of alleged c.i.a. interrogation abuses and that news comes on the same day the report was made public. national correspondent catherine herridge has the story. >> though the obama administration has promised to look forward, today at the justice department, hundreds of previously classified documents, including a five-year-old c.i.a. report were released. the report by former inspector general john halgerson is the most enhanced interpretation of the program, including the waterboarding of detainees in c.i.a. custody. prior to the official release, details of the c.i.a. report were already circulating in washington. among them, the alleged planner of the uss cole attack which killed 17 sailors in
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october 2000 was subjected to mock executions, a violation of the federal law banning tore torture. and one of one of three high value detainees to be waterboarded had a gun and power drill held near his head. in another incident, when guards moved the detainee, they passed a guard who was dressed as a hooded detainee, lying motionless on the ground and made to look as if he had been shot to death. two detainees including the self self described architect of the 9/11 had their families threaten f there was another attack on our soil, he was told we would kill his children. leon panetta said the report was an old story, adding that several agency components, quote, disagreed with some of the findings and conclusions. the c.i.a. director warned against it in the strongest possible terms. >> continuing to look back will teach people never to play to the edge. >> and further, we will teach
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the community to be a workforce that he we need to be vigorous and active. >> the attorney general said last week the release of the document was in the country's best interest. >> we will not be doing anything that would endanger the american people or in some ways lessen our national security. >> the report states that the interrogation program was successful, in part because it took senior al qaeda operatives off the battlefield and they provide the intelligence about the structure of al qaeda and future operations t does not go into specific methods. the document release comes on the same day as confirmation that justice department officials are recommending an investigation and possible criminal prosecution of those connected to nearly ten detainee cases. john duram, a career prosecutor, who investigated the destruction of c.i.a. videotape showing some interrogations will be reviewed. at a white house briefing where the president is vacationing at martha's vinyard, the administration sought to reconcile its promise to look forward when a
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criminal investigation would dredge up the past. >> like the president has said repeatedly, he thinks that we should be looking forward, not backward. he does agree with the attorney general that anyone who conducted actions that had been sanctioned should not be prosecuted, but ultimately, the decisions on who is investigated and who is prosecuted are up to the attorney general. >> and late today, two more documents were released, c.i.a. documents, and we believe they are the same documents that former vice president dick cheney wanted released, because he said that they would show that enhanced interrogation programs provided useful intelligence to save lives. i want to read from one of the documents titled "detainees pivotal" since september 200 1-rbgs detainee reporting has been a killer of u.s. ev morts for law intelligence to capture additional terrorists an advancing our analysis of the al qaeda target.
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it has also provided unique insight into terrorist organizations including leadership, attack strategy and tactics. detainees have played some role in every cam tour of al qaeda member since 2002. bret: do we know how much of that information came from waterboarding? >> well, let me emphasize that we're still going through the last two documents, but what i was told from my contact this afternoon is that a significant portion of the intelligence that is detailed in these reports did come after khalid sheik mohammed was waterboarded. i was told he became what amounted to a human rolodex because of his knowledge about the al qaeda network and also its membership. bret: if you find anything else, let us know. thank you. >> i will. bret: house judiciary committee chairman john conyers and gerald nadler are all ap applauding the attorney general's decision to appoint the prosecutor but are saying it doesn't go far enough. hours after the announcement
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from the justice department, the two congressmen called for the prosecutor to be given a broad mandate to follow the evidence where it leads a understand to prosecute where warranted. the white house has taken the oversight of high value interrogations away from the c.i.a. major garrett is at the presidential vacation retreat on martha's vinyard. how would this work, major? >> well, good evening, bret. it's called the high value detainee interrogation group, otherwise known by the white house henceforth as hig and will be housed at the f.b.i., but the supervisory roll will be carried out by the national security council. that means the white house is playing its accountability and scrutiny of all future interrogations of high value terrorist suspects directly under its watch. bill burton, the deputy white house press secretary, described a little bit about the program earlier today in martha's vinyard. >> it will bring together all the different elements of the intelligence community to get the best intelligence possible based on scientifically proven
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methods, and consistent with the army field manual. >> that means, of course, waterboarding, that has always been out there, but when you comply with the army field manual, no loud music, no sleep deprivation. the white house believes those tactics don't work, and so burton applies scientifically calibrated techniques, meaning persuasion and soft sells work better. bret: does this knock the c.i.a. out of of the interrogation business? >> the white house says no, but bureaucratically when you move something out of the c.i.a. and take it to the f.b.i. and put supervision of it to the white house, you know bureaucratically the c.i.a.'s role has been diminished. bill burton addressed that question as well. let's take a quick listen. >> the c.i.a. obviously has a very important role to play as it relates to interrogations, and they have done a brilliant job in doing it so far, gathering intelligence. a lot of people don't know that half of the f.b.i.'s mission is actually to gather intelligence, so what this
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does is it houses all these different elements under one group where they can best purr form their duties. >> a deputy with the c.i.a. will be a member of that group and will have a seat at the table, the white house says. one other recommendation, the c.i.a. be taken out of the role of transferring detainees from country to country. the group recommends the state department take over that obligation. >> quickly, major, what about the timing of all of this. you have a lot of people looking at this and a lot of this briefing was about this very topic and not healthcare reform, that the president has spent days, weeks, talking about. what about the timing of all of this? >> quickly, the white house says there is no coincidence. the reality is that the white house is moving away from healthcare because the president has devoted so much time to it, it has to get on to other things. it is a pending matter of business that is now out there. bret: thanks, major garrett. you have less than two hours to take advantage of the government's cash for clunkers program, the hugely popular
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incentive is set to expire at 8:00 p.m. eastern. the transportation department said it got such a high response in numbers that its website encountered problems so it has given dealers until noon eastern time tuesday to file reimbursement am applications. stocks were missed today. the do dow gained 3. s&p 500 lost 2 and nasdaq gave back 3. it has been said that sex sells, and in a few instances taxpayers are the ones footing the bill, thanks to the stimulus package. and an early outlook on the fall's h1n1 flu season is causing shivers for people charged with keeping you safe. maybe one of the most important...
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(announcer) we understand. you need to save money. bret: president obama's science advisors say the h1n1 flu posess a serious threat to the nation. we are at the centers for disease prevention in atlanta.
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good evening. >> the health and human services secretary briefed reporters today. kathleen sebelius says the vaccine should be ready by mid october. its effectiveness depends upon the virus staying the same as the one we saw this past spring. >> if that changes, fairly dramatically an consistently, then, frankly, we are in real trouble, because we will be making a vaccine for a virus that no longer is effective. >> the president's science advisors issued a report praising federal agencies for their preparation but urging quick action. in a statement, the president's press secretary explains that the report concludes that the 2009 flu is unlikely to resemble the deadly flu pandemic of 1918 and 1919 but in contrast to the benign version of swine flu that emerged in 1976, the report says the current strain poses a serious health threat to the nation. experts say you may require two separate vaccinations over
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time, so, bret, many americans may not be fully protected until after thanksgiving. back to you. bret: johnathon, i know there is a sense of urgency, but are they seeing any signs of mutation with the virus? >> the good news is not yet. always subject to change, but they haven't seen any mutation yet. >> thank you. now, the healthcare reform debate. one group whose support is vital for any proposal, seniors, and out of power republicans are trying to position themselves as the party looking out for seniors' well-being. james rosen explains. >> your government has lost the faith and trust of the american people. >> at those raucous town halls, elderly americans took center stage, venting opposition to cuts in medicare, the government healthcare program that covers 45 million americans, mostly seniors, and now republican party chairman michael steele has devise add healthcare bill of rights just for them. >> senior citizens right now are scared to death, bought
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they see the government coming into an area of their lives, and trying to play in a way that they could get the short end of the stick. >> the g.o.p. document may have little impact since democrats control congress and the white house, but its broad guidelines include protecting seniors from disprotecting seniors and cuts to medicare coverage. $500 billion in overpaid medicare payments the democrats say can be saved and yet refused to provide a specific estimate of how much can be saved. >> the figure is not real because no one sat down and drilled through the process. it is just a range. >> it is humorous to hear the republicans say they are in support of medicare when it is a government-run single-payer program. i thought they were opposed to that. >> seniors were worried about death pan ales were payments
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would be denied to the elderly on infirm. democrats say there is no such thing in the bill, and a veteran affairs booklet, your life, your choices, written by an advocate of assisted suicide and in counseling veterans about living wills and when they should decide to, quote, pull the plug, offers food for thought like i'd never want to live like a vegetable and i am a severe financial burden on my family. >> whether there is a death panel written in a law or not, the real issue is why would the v.a. promote a document written by an assisted suicide add so cat that has an proclivity for assisted suicide? >> veterans can use whatever they line to like to use. secretary ductworth said they were told not to use this booklet because it is under revision, but a veterans administration directive
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issued last month recommended are that physicians treating veterans refer them to this booklet. bret: james, thank you. we are still 14 months from next year's midterm elections but candidates are already mounting campaigns and prognosticators are forecasting big losses for democrats. shannon bream reports on what everyone is saying. >> republican national committee chairman michael steele might be taking a cautious view of the 2010 midterm elections but analysts believe that republicans will scorch bigger successes. >> i wouldn't be surprised if democrats lost from 15 to 25 seats in the house. >> it is no secret that midterm elections are unfavorable to the party in control of the white house, with few exceptions so congressman chris van holland has been preparing with that in mind. away back in january, we made it clear to our members on the
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democratic side, get ready, fasten your seatbelts because this is going to be a big one for us. they have been preparing since day one. republicans say the feisty pushback on the healthcare plan and growing losses in jobs and how the stimulus money isn't being spent, prove democrats have substantial challenges ahead in 2010. >> well, it's a combination of the work they have done and where they're going, but it's also about arrogance. the arrogance of not listening to the constituents. >> new polling shows democrats are failing to connect with a key group. 70% of independents now disapprove of how the democratically-controlled congress is doing its job, while just 22% say they approve. so, is the party that so was good at offering something new in 2008's historic election fizzling out when it comes to delivering it? >> democrats great at selling the broad message of change in
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2008, and now they're having trouble velling the specifics because they can't agree on them. >> even if democrats win enough seats to maintain control of of both the house and senate, there is a catch-22. unlike bill clinton in 1996, president obama wouldn't have a republican congress to blame if his ambitious initiatives aren't passed by the time he faces a re-election run in 2012. in washington, shannon bream, fox news. bret: dissidents in iraq are feeling alone since u.s. forces are no longer protecting them, and what happens when the workers take over the business after the owners leave? welcome to the now network. right now five coworkers
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bret: in news around the world, scotland's justice minister is standing by his decision to he free the bomber of pan am flight 103.
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last night's release was followed by a welcoming ceremony in lib libya that outraged many legislators. in pakistan, authorities have arrested more than a dozen suspected terrorists, and seized suicide vests, explosives an heroin. authorities say the arrests prevented several attacks against politicians an places of worship. cuban t.v. has shown the first new images of former president fidel castro in more than a year. the 83 year old was seen meeting with a group of students from venezuela. castro has rarely been shown on cuban t.v. since he fell ill three years ago n argentina, there are yeses about what to do with people who take over abandon factories, homes and land. steve harrigan has a report on what some of the squatters do with other people's property. >> they make glasses in
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argentine gnat same way as they did in 1896, nowts out of tradition but out of necessity. when the factory went bankrupt, the owner sold the ovens an factory lines and the workers broke in and took over and kept working. >> we're not the ones breaking the law. it is illegal what the owners did to us, leaving us out in the street. >> under a single owner, this bane buenos aries hotel went bankrupt and now the maids an cooks in charge, all have one vote and make one salary. workers' paradise or a short-term illusion funded by the government? >> they lack human capital. they lack money. >> sometimes the workers have no ties to the building they have taken over. this catering business was started by squatters inside a bankrupt car wash. squatting in bankrupt factories may be illegal but to dive workers out takes
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political will and sometimes force. the simple question of who owns the workplace in argentina is being fought here in the courts and in the streets. squat something going beyond factories to houses an land. next to one of the richest neighborhoods in buenos aries is one of the poorest, which is going fast. the thinking here seems to be the same as with the factories. if you occupy it, the government won't kick you out. a motto that for now has proven true. in buenos aries, steve harrigan, fox news. bret: well, if you're looking for a job, there are a surprising number of them still available in the obama administration, and the top democrat in the senate is looking up at a pair of republicans as he gets ready to run for re-election.
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my name is chef michael. and when i come home from my restaurant, i love showing bailey how special she is. yes, you are. i know exactly what you love, don't i? - [ barks ] - mmm. aromas like rotisserie chicken. and filet mignon. yeah, that's what inspired a very special dry dog food.
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[ woman ] introducing chef michael's canine creations. so tasty and nutritious it's hard to believe it's dry dog food. chef-inspired. dog-desired. chef michael's canine creations. reading about washington these days... i gotta ask, what's in it for me? i'm not looking for a bailout, just a good paying job. that's why i like this clean energy idea. now that works for our whole family. for the kids, a better environment. for my wife, who commutes, no more gettin' jerked around on gas prices... and for me, well, it wouldn't be so bad if this breadwinner brought home a little more bread. repower america. i hope our senators are listening.
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bret: and now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine. 7 months into president obama he's term, "the new york times" reports that the white house has filled less than half of 500 senior policy making decisions requiring senate confirmation. basically, the political expert larry sabato says with healthcare reform and energy filling the senate cal he len dar this fall, it wouldn't be surprising to see some of these posts empty for a quarter or more of obama's term. " vacant positions include army secretary, assistant treasury secretary,
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transportation inspector general. no obama appointee is running the transportation security administration, the customs an border protection agency, or the drug enforcement agency. there are even some appointees who are already leaving. among those is donald gibbs who quit as presidential personnel director and was in charge of filling vake cant spots. he left to become ambassador to south africa. senate majority leader harry reid is in the political fight of his life, not on chill, but back home in neff d.a. a recent mason-dixon poll shows reid behind both republican rivals in next year's re-election bid. he trails danny tarkanian and sue louden by five head to head matchups. his favorable rate something 37% with unfavorable at 50%. who knew that the $787 billion stimulus package would be so stimulating? "the new york post" reports
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hundreds of thousands of dollars are going to behavioral sex research at schools across the country. one of the grants awarded by the national institutes of health will fund research on the barriers to correct condom use at indiana university for $221,000. syracuse university will study hiccups among adolescents for $219,000 and the university of illinois in chicago will e evaluate drug use as as as a sex enhancer at a cost of $123,000 and a study by the university of maryland at baltimore will spend $182,000 at a look at how methamphatemine use enhances motivation for rat sexual behavior. speaking of money, many seniors on fixed incomes who count on their annual bump-ups in their social security payments are going to be disappointed soon. white house correspondent mike emanuel tells us why the check won't be getting any larger. >> the roughly 50 million retired and disabled americans
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who receive social security benefits should not expect a cost of living increase for 2 years, adjustments based on inflation, which has been negative this year due to lower energy costs. this is the first time cost of living payments have not gone up for social security since automatic increases were started in 1975. >> everything has gone up, medicine, everything, and the older people can't live on what they're getting. >> they're already on reduced income. i think it's a shame. >> legally, social security benefits can not go down, but with average monthly premiums for the medicare prescription drug program expected to increase and medicare part b people yums also on the rise, seniors' advocates say with many older americans living on less than $20,000 per year, the cost of living increase matters. >> seniors lived on fixed incomes. low income seniors live on a very little amount of money and old seniors have a lot of money going to healthcare, so every dollar they count on to help them get through the year. >> now they are calling on
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congress to boost benefits next year even if the formula for increases doesn't call for it. whether or not that happens, one expert said this is a sign of things to come. >> what the government giveth, the government can taketh away. >> some preel dict the situation will get worse if social security is not fixed. >> we're not going to be able to pay all the promised benefits in the future. people complaining about these little tiny cuts, they haven't seen anything yet if we don't fix the social security program. >> in the short-term, senator bernie sanders from vermont said he will introduce emergency legislation to provide financial support to seniors to help them make ends meet. in washington, mike emanuel, fox news. >> our next story concerns a group of iranians dedicated to the overthrow of the current regime in tehran. these people have been living in an iraqi camp for several years, and until recently were under american protection. but that has changed. national security correspondent jennifer griffin reports on the complicated and
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dangerous situation. on july 28 and 29, 60 miles from baghdad, iraqi security forces surrounded the refugee camp known as camp ashrav and tried to establish a police station there. after two and a half hours of tense negotiations an vocal demonstrations, the iraqi security forces killed 7 camp residents, reportedly wounding 500. four more residents later died of their wounds, but the most chilling moment, according to the residents, was when they asked a u.s. soldier who was videotaping the incident for help, and at that point, the two u.s. soldiers from a nearby base got in their vehicle and drove away, leaving the residents to deal with the iraqi troops. >> article 45 of the geneva convention makes it very clear that despite handing over the protection to iraqi government, the united states has the responsibility to monitor and protect them. >> but the u.s. military says its hands are tied by the new
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status of forces agreement that puts the iraqis in control of all cities and places u.s. forces in merely a supporting role. the state department agrees, quote, the government of iraq's action was a reasonable act of sovereignty, and in keeping with its obligation to provide security, the mujahideen leadership ignored attempts to arrange a peaceful outcome and instead staged violent demonstrations to oppose iraqi security forces." for years, these residents have been pressuring iran's ruling moolas. in 2002, they provided u.s. spy agencies and the iaea with some of the most detailed intelligence yet on iran's nuclear program. now these dissidents say iraq ashia-led government is pandering to iran's leaders and with u.s. forces leaving iraq soon, both iran and iraq's leaders are trying to get rid of the residents of camp ashrav.
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jennifer griffin, fox news. bret: the nation's top military officers say the situation in afghanistan is serious and deteriorating. admiral mike mullen says the momentum needs to be reversed in the next 12-18 months. he is not saying whether that will require more than the 68,000 troops so far committed by the administration. a guantanomo bay terror suspect accused of throwing a grenade that injured two u.s. soldiers has been released. he has been returned home to his home in afghanistan. his alleged attack in 2002 injured two soldiers and their intep pretor t appears that the men and women who asked questions of suspected tifts going to have to answer more questions themselves. the fox all-stars talk about the appointment of the special prosecutor, next. our neighborho, your home, or the home you'd like to buy, are each unique. the national conversation may not apply at all.
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>> as a general view, i think we should look forward and not backwards. i do worry about this getting so politicizeed that we cannot fung effectively, and it hampers our ability to carry out critical national security operations. >> well, that's what the president said back in april. today, as you see, the justice department handing out an inspector general's report about interrogations, the attorney general has announced that federal prosecutor john durham will be appointed to investigate alleged c.i.a. abuses. now, they are supposed to be specifically about allegations of interrogations that went south, went wrong, but will it be limited to that, or will it expand? let's talk about this and the politics behind it a little later. let's bring in the panel, steve hayes for "the weekly standard" and juan williams for national public radio and
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syndicated columnist charles krauthammer. charles, there were thousands of documents released today and late in the day we had word that the attorney general was appointing this special prosecutor. what about this decision? >> well, we just heard the president say he didn't want something like, this because it would hamper our national security operations in the future, and it surely will. who would want to be an interrogator after what has been happening now? look, the cases that are going to be looked at are cases that were looked at by career prosecutors, not political appointees in the eastern district of virginia where the c.i.a. is and where these cases are handled, and they looked at about 20 of these cases of people who allegedly went beyond the four corners of the law and recommended are in all cases except one no prosecution. the one case was brought to trial, the person was a c.i.a. contractor who attacked a detainee with a metal flashlight and was found guilty. his case has just been
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appealed and appeals court upheld. all the others recommended again. you have a new administration, a new wind in the white house, a president who ran against george bush and who now decides it is a good time to run against him again, and these interrogators are going to be relooked at by a special prosecutor, which means unlimited license fmplets you think it is going to stop there, it is not. the great white whale here is the lawyers in the white house. these interrogators are going to say i was just obeying orders. you are going to go to the white house and end up where they want to end up, with cheney who is the great white whale of this investigation. bret: juan, just a few moments after this announcement came out, we had a release from the house judiciary committee chairman john conyers and gerald nadler, both democrats who said that this is a good first step, but we must go further, and said that this prosecutor should be give an broad mandate to investigate
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these abuses, follow where the evidence leads an prosecute where warranted. is that what charles is talking about there, that there is not going to be an end to this? >> that pressure is coming from